Parks of the Dinarides – network of protected areas of Dinarides it approved funds for 11 (eleven) project proposals based on the competition for the Program of grants for protected areas. The projects are supported with the aim of improving cooperation between protected areas and representatives of local communities on the principles of accountability, transparency and active participation of citizens. The funds were allocated through the Regional Program "Protected Areas for Nature and People" implemented by WWF Adria in cooperation with the Parks of the Dinarides and other partners in the region, and which is funded by the Swedish Development Agency SIDA.
Approved projects will be implemented in the next twelve months at the national and regional levels in seven countries of the Dinarides region, where new partnerships will be established between more than thirty protected areas, regional and local institutions and organizations, private companies and local producers. The project is carried by: PI Zeleni prsten, PI for Nature Protection Međimurje nature and Nature Park Žumberak - Samoborsko gorje from Croatia, National Park Mavrovo and Ezerani Nature Park from Macedonia, Regional Park Kozjansko and Landscape Park Tivoli from Slovenia, Nature park Tikvara from Serbia, National Park Shebenik - Jablanica from Albania, Nature Park Blidinje from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Nature Park Piva from Montenegro.
“The direct involvement of the local population in the management of protected areas and strengthening of local associations are the foundation of well-developed protected areas, with economic, social and cultural benefits for the local community. The direct involvement of the local population in the management of protected areas and the strengthening of local associations are the foundation of well-developed protected areas, with economic, social and cultural benefits for the local community. In addition, effective and better interaction and participation of the community will play a key role in influencing national policies in the field of nature conservation, which will in the near future significantly contribute to the effective transposition of EU regulations in the region"- says Zoran Mrdak, Executive Director of the Parks of Dinarides.
Various activities are planned across the region in order to involve the local population in decision-making processes on social and economic development and protection of the natural values of the park's environment: preparing guidelines for involvement of public and establishing local forums, setting up mobile units to inform local population from remote and inaccessible areas about park activities, ceding and equipping of park premises for local producers - in order to improve conditions for production and joint placement, linking offers of family farms and companies for purchase, training local hiking guides, etc.
The fact of particular importance is that the projects will include socially most sensitive members of the community: young, poor, elderly, women, national minorities.